AMOS – Chapter 2 – Judgment of the Nations - Continued

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

October 22, 2019, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Chapter 2 continues with the judgment of the nations which I am persuaded is now activated just as it was in the days of Amos.  The prophet makes it clear to Israel that their God is the God of all the earth, the one who is vitally concerned with all people and will judge sin wherever it is found.  He is concerned not only with Israel and those who trouble her, but also with the relationships of all states and nations to one another.  The laws of conduct revealed to Israel are valid internationally.  Yahweh is the God who will have justice and righteousness among all nations.  His rule extends to all men and in all circumstances.  We can insert the “apostate Church” into the sins of  Israel.


Amos 2:1 -3: Thus says the LORD:
For three transgressions of Moab, and for four,

I will not turn away its punishment,
Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.

But I will send a fire upon Moab,
And it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth;
Moab shall die with tumult,
With shouting
and trumpet sound.

And I will cut off the judge from its midst,
And slay all its princes with him,”
Says the L


Moab was east of the river Arnon and is present day Jordan.  However, my approach to Amos is these judgments are not limited to a certain nation or a certain time, but the judgment perpetually applies to the sin regardless who commits the sin.


The crime of Moab had nothing to do with Israel in any way.  They are condemned because they burned the bones of Edom’s king in lime.  The exact historical circumstances of the deed cannot be determined.  It is proposed that the Moabites had desecrated a royal tomb in Edom. 


This sin was also committed by Josiah in 2 Ki. 23:16: As Josiah turned, he saw the tombs that were there on the mountain. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar, and defiled it according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.


Grave robbing and disturbance of graves are particularly contemptible crimes, for much importance was attached to a dead man resting in the family burial place.


On the other hand, it is possible the Moabites may have captured an Edomite king and after killing him burnt his body and the bones were calcified in lime. 


Once again the punishment to be meted out to them is total military disaster (2) and the removal of power and authority.


The second part of verse 2 is composed of sound words, drawn from the vocabulary of battle, and the line evokes all the tumult and noise of an army in the midst of the attack including war cries.  The trumpet was the ram’s horn used for sounding the alarm or the attack.  The ruler of Moab and the leaders of the people will be exterminated.


Amos uses the word “judge” here instead of king.  The word “shaphat” is normally reserved for civil leaders of lower rank such as the judges of the Israelite confederation.  I insert this into the teaching because we know our Justice Department is being cleansed and judged.  It is a serious matter to sit in a civil office or a spiritual office before God. 


Amos 2:4 -5: Thus says the LORD:

For three transgressions of Judah, and for four,
I will not turn away its
Because they have despised the law of the L
And have not kept His commandments.
Their lies lead them astray,
Lies which their fathers followed.

But I will send a fire upon Judah,
And it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.”


As we know Jerusalem was destroyed when Tiglath Pilesar, III  invaded Syria (750 B.C.)  and then the entire region came under Assyrian rule.  Pilesar was known as Pul in the Bible. 


1Ch 5:26: - And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.


The destruction of Jerusalem was again castrophically destroyed by Titus in A.D. 70 because of the Jews rejection of Jesus Christ as their Messiah.


The charge leveled against Judah is relevant to the apostate church of the 21st century and apostasy in general.  Deliberate rejection and rebellion of the Word of God on our lives whether national or individual is in view.  We cannot say this judgment is limited to the “Law of the Old Testament.”  This judgment also applied in 70 A.D. to those who rejected Jesus Christ. 


The verses underline the Christian faith regarding sin as the state of active rebellion against God in those who reject the will of the Lord.


Judah’s neglect of the decrees of God was in spite of the apparent recovery of genuine worship under Uzziah.  It is apparent that there was only a recovery of the externals of worship seen in the fact that they have been led astray by false gods.


The lies which their fathers followed are the lies of culture and tradition validated by the rebellion of their fathers.


Amos 2:6 -9: Thus says the LORD:
For three transgressions of Israel, and for four,
I will not turn away its
Because they sell the righteous for silver,
And the poor for a pair of sandals.

They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor,
And pervert the way of the humble.
A man and his father go in to the
same girl,
To defile My holy name.

They lie down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge,
And drink the wine of the condemned
in the house of their god.


The oracle against Israel is much longer and more complex than the previous oracles against the nations.  Judah and Israel knew the goodness of God.  They knew his Holiness and His ways.  They are accountable.


Luke 12:48 - But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more


14 Sins of Judah and Israel:


  1. Despised the law of the Lord.
  2. Did not keep the commandments.
  3. Erred through lies.
  4. Walked in the sins of fathers.
  5. Sold the righteous for silver.
  6. Sold the poor for a pair of shoes.
  7. Coveted even the dust of the earth thrown on the head of the poor.
  8. Turned aside the way of the meek.
  9. Father and son going in unto the same maid.
  10. Using tokens of pledges made to them.
  11. Drinking wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
  12. Gave Nazarites wine to drink.
  13. Forbade the prophets to prophesy
  14. Provoked God to anger.


Many Israelites were forced to sell themselves in order to pay off accumulated debts standing against them.  The term a pair of sandals is an idiom for the legal transfer of land, both referring to the fact that a man was sold either for money or land.  The judges in Israel could be influenced by paltry bribes.


The legal processes were doing nothing to help the righteous.  The word used here indicates the innocent party in a lawsuit, the man that the court should have vindicated.  The courts were perverse and the influential rich were able to dominate them.  The result was social injustice as the rule of the day.  The honest man was denied justice. 


We are seeing this process play out in the House of Representatives in their Kangaroo Court to impeach the President.


The interpretation of father and son using the same girl could refer to sanctuary prostitution which was a regular feature of the worship of the fertility cults of the ancient world.  This would also mean a female bond-slave who was being used as a concubine for both father and son which was expressly prohibited.


Deut. 22:30 - A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor uncover his father’s bed.


A divorce between religion and morality results in a corruption of society.


Garments taken in pledge refer to the way in which a debt was secured.  A debtor left his cloak with the lender as surety for the debt.  However, Exod. 22:26 lays it down that such a garment given in pledge has to be returned to him before sunset for it was his covering and acted as a man’s blanket at night.


Worship had degenerated into an excuse for indulgence in various orgies; the wine that was drunk was paid for with the money derived from court fines, and the clothes on which they sprawled were forfeited pledges.  The poor were suffering under the power of the rich.


Verses 9-12 emphasize the fact that their behavior was all the more heinous in view of the mighty acts which God has wrought for their salvation.


Amos 2:9 -12: Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them,
Whose height was like the height of the cedars,
And he
was as strong as the oaks;

Yet I destroyed his fruit above
And his roots beneath.

Also it was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt,

And led you forty years through the wilderness,
To possess the land of the Amorite.

I raised up some of your sons as prophets,
And some of your young men as Nazirites.
Is it not so, O you children of Israel?”
Says the L

But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink,
And commanded the prophets saying,
‘Do not prophesy!’


The order of placing the defeat of the Amorites before the Exodus and the desert wanderings, emphasizes that Israel’s existence in the land of the Amorites is from the mighty acts of God.  The focus of attention is one the immense power of God and points to the glaring contrast between God’s acts of kindness to the people and sinfulness with which they have so shamefully repaid His kindness to the people and to Him. 


The reference to the Amorite is used of the various Canaanite groups rather than the specific tribe of that name.  The Amorites were singled out as being among the worst offenders in regard to the religious practices of Canaan (Gen. 15:16).


Israel is lapsing into the evil practices of the very nations the might of the Lord had driven out before them. 


The LORD gave them prophets and Nazirites (dedicated ones) whose work is a continuing manifestation of the power and presence of God.  Israel ignored the presence and power of God in His sent ones.  They scorned and rejected the prophets.  Amos is not holding back.  He has to know that he is facing a firing squad or could I say lynching squad (emphases on squad).   Prophets had been intimidated so they dare not speak.  Israel had rejected God and rejected his servants. 


It should not be a surprise the God of might and power who overwhelmed the Amorites for the good of His people was not the God whose power would turn salvation-history into judgment history.


Yahweh moves into a decree of His righteous judgment which will vindicate Him and His own justice and in doing so the nation will be crushed as sheaves of corn on the threshing floor.


Amos 2:13 -16: Behold, I am weighed down by you,
As a cart full of sheaves is weighed down.

Therefore flight shall perish from the swift,
The strong shall not strengthen his power,
Nor shall the mighty deliver himself;

He shall not stand who handles the bow,
The swift of foot shall not escape,
Nor shall he who rides a horse deliver himself.

The most courageous men of might
Shall flee naked in that day,”
Says the LORD.


The boasted military might will not stand in the day of the revelation of God’s wrath and judgment.  There would be none who would escape.  It would not matter how fleet-footed they were, however, brave or strong,


The storm clouds of Assyria and then later Rome swept over the land and there were none who could stand against it.


The ultimate effect of this judgment will be catastrophic upon the nation.  I remember Johnny Enlow’s prophecy to the nations 4/22/19:


“I am coming in waves because what I am ultimately uprooting, if done all at once, would not just be disruptive but catastrophic.  However, be assured that My waves of Justice will not stop until I have changed the direction of your nation and the direction of the world.”


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from K.J.V. and N.K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary (J. Keir Howard).  Quote from Johnny Enlow 4/22/19; Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.

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